Have you ever heard of the UNWTO? A lot of people have not heard of this organization which is part of the United Nations. It is an agency which has been set up to help promote tourism around the world on a sustainable, responsible and also a universally acceptable level.
This UN agency is a market leader in the promotion of tourism as a driver of environmental sustainability, economic growth and also inclusive development. With the help of this organization countries can generate market knowledge of the tourism sector, promote sustainable and competitive tourism policies and also implement educational training to assist with a wide range of projects. All of this can help drive the tourism sector and create stability which will have a benefit towards the local economy.
Ethics of Tourism
The organization also has in place a code of ethics which it refers members to so that they can create a sustainable and responsible tourism industry. These guiding principles are put in place to help make sure that each country can get the maximum benefit out of tourism, whilst having the least impact on the environment and cultural heritage of the country. It is not only about making the destination country aware of various factors in order to create sustainable tourism, but also educating tourists as well so that their money goes to the places in the economy which needs it, but at the same time they have as little negative impact as possible. Some of the principles embraced are as follows;
- Enabling a mutual respect and understanding between societies and peoples
- Backing the rights of people and companies working within the tourism sector
- Using tourism to enhance the cultural heritage and contribution of mankind
- Using tourism as a vehicle for collective and also individual fulfillment
There are 10 guiding principles in total, and you will be able to find these listed out in detail on the UNWTO website. This code is not legally binding or enforced by law, but it is encouraged that each country adopts the principles of this within its own tourism sectors. It was first implemented in 1999 at the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization and then two years later was acknowledged by the United Nations itself.
The type of events that are held
The UNWTO holds various events throughout the world to help create awareness regards different social aspects of tourism. High on the agenda is the protection of children within the tourism industry. On the 8th of March 2013, the 28th meeting of the WTO child protection was held in Berlin at the Berlin International Tourism Fair. The meeting is a good way for various countries to exchange ideas and practical knowledge to help protect children from the tourism sector in their native country. By protection, they mean preventing child abuse and child prostitution, preventing underage workers in the production of tourist related products and materials, also preventing children being used to self products and services to tourists. There are lots of other events and meetings held throughout the year which touch on all aspects of tourism and their impact on the local population and culture as well. These events are not only a good way to make sure all countries look after their indigenous population as well as attracting tourists, but also a good way of sharing and exchanging ideas in an ever changing world.
As populations grow and more people have enough disposable income to afford holidays abroad, so too is the amount of people travelling to foreign countries. In 1950, the amount of International Tourist Arrivals was 25 Million. In 2011, this number jumped up to 980 million and the figure projected for 2030 are 1.8 Billion arrivals. This means that the tourism sector is huge and can have a very big effect on local economies. This is why it s important to encourage tourism that is sustainable and has as little negative impact on the cultural heritage of the local population as possible. So the next time you look to book a cheap holiday abroad, think about what you can do for the local population while you are there and try not to partake in events and practices which can have a negative effect on the country such as purchasing souvenirs made from banned substances. Everybody needs to work together to make sure that both the tourists centres and also the tourists themselves, do not ruin the environment for generations to come. Making sure that your children and their children as well can appreciate everything that is on offer from the local population to the environment and wildlife as well.
Ted Hunter wrote this article for Travel Republic. Travel Republic has cheap holidays abroad to 100’s of different countries around the world. Ted is a keen environmentalist who likes to travel the world enjoying all of the cultures that he encounters.